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Jessica H. Y. Chen DDS &
Emma K. Etemadi DDS
14142 Main Street NE
Suite 104
Duvall, WA 98019

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Pregnant? or Planning to be? Add Dental Visit to Your Checklist

June 16th, 2017

In between trips to the doctor, hospital tours and setting up the nursery, don’t let visiting the dentist fall off your pregnancy to-do list before your baby comes. Getting a checkup during pregnancy is safe and important for your dental health. Not only can you take care of cleanings and procedures like cavity fillings before your baby is born, but your dentist can help you with any pregnancy-related dental symptoms you might be experiencing.

The American Dental Association, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Academy of Pediatrics all encourage women to get dental care while pregnant.
Here are the most common concerns women have about going to the dentist during pregnancy.

When Do I Tell My Dentist I’m Pregnant?

Even if you only think you might be pregnant, let your dental office know. Tell them how far along you are when you make your appointment. Also let your dentist know about the medications you are taking or if you have received any special advice from your physician. If your pregnancy is high-risk or if you have certain medical conditions, your dentist and your physician may recommend that some treatments be postponed.

How Might Pregnancy Affect My Mouth?

Although many women make it nine months with no dental discomfort, pregnancy can make some conditions worse – or create new ones. Regular checkups and good dental health habits can help keep you and your baby healthy.

Pregnancy Gingivitis
Your mouth can be affected by the hormonal changes you will experience during pregnancy. For example, some women develop a condition known as “pregnancy gingivitis,” an inflammation of the gums that can cause swelling and tenderness. Your gums also may bleed a little when you brush or floss. Left untreated, gingivitis can lead to more serious forms of gum disease. Your dentist may recommend more frequent cleanings to prevent this.

Increased Risk of Tooth Decay
Pregnant women may be more prone to cavities for a number of reasons. If you’re eating more carbohydrates than usual, this can cause decay. Morning sickness can increase the amount of acid your mouth is exposed to, which can eat away at the outer covering of your tooth (enamel).

Brushing twice a day and flossing once can also fall by the wayside during pregnancy for many reasons, including morning sickness, a more sensitive gag reflex, tender gums and exhaustion. It’s especially important to keep up your routine, as poor habits during pregnancy have been associated with premature delivery, intrauterine growth restriction, gestational diabetes and preeclampsia.

Pregnancy Tumors
In some women, overgrowths of tissue called “pregnancy tumors” appear on the gums, most often during the second trimester. It is not cancer but rather just swelling that happens most often between teeth. They may be related to excess plaque. They bleed easily and have a red, raw-looking raspberry-like appearance. They usually disappear after your baby is born, but if you are concerned, talk to your dentist about removing them.

Are the Medications My Dentist May Recommend Safe During Pregnancy?

Be sure your dentist knows what, if any, prescription medications and over-the-counter drugs you are taking. This information will help your dentist determine what type of prescription, if any, to write for you. Your dentist can consult with your physician to choose medications—such as painkillers or antibiotics—you may safely take during the pregnancy. Both your dentist and physician are concerned about you and your baby, so ask them any questions you have about medications they recommend.

What About Local Anesthetics During Pregnancy?

If you’re pregnant and need a filling, root canal or tooth pulled, one thing you don’t have to worry about is the safety of the numbing medications your dentist may use during the procedure. They are, in fact, safe for both you and your baby.

A study in the August 2015 issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association followed a group of pregnant women who had procedures that used anesthetics like lidocaine shots and a group that did not. The study showed these treatments were safe during pregnancy, as they cause no difference in the rate of miscarriages, birth defects, prematurity or weight of the baby. “Our study identified no evidence to show that dental treatment with anesthetics is harmful during pregnancy,” said study author Dr. Hagai. “We aimed to determine if there was a significant risk associated with dental treatment with anesthesia and pregnancy outcomes. We did not find any such risk.”

Can I Get a Dental X-Ray While Pregnant?

About half of the women in the anesthetic JADA study had X-rays taken while they were pregnant, which were also found to be safe. It’s possible you’ll need an X-ray if you suffer a dental emergency or if there is a need to diagnose a dental problem. Although, radiation from dental X-rays is extremely low, your dentist or hygienist will cover you with a leaded apron that minimizes exposure to the abdomen. Your dental office will also cover your throat with a leaded collar to protect your thyroid from radiation.

http://www.mouthhealthy.org

Contact Drs. Jessica Chen and Emma Etemadi at Duvall Family Dental for your dental check up! We are your dental home in Duvall!

Strong and Healthy Teeth Infographic

June 9th, 2017

Contact Drs. Jessica Chen and Emma Etemadi at Duvall Family Dental for your dental check up! We are your dental home in Duvall!

6 Habits That Harm Your Teeth (And How to Break Them)

June 2nd, 2017

6 Habits That Harm Your Teeth (And How to Break Them)

Nail Biting

The habit: This nervous habit can chip teeth and impact your jaw

The solution: Bitter-tasting nail polishes, stress reduction and setting small, realistic goals can help. If certain situations are triggers, hold something to keep your fingers busy.

Brushing Too Hard

The habit: Brushing for two minutes twice a day is one of the best habits you can get into. Just make sure you’re not trying too hard.

The solution: Use a soft toothbrush with the ADA Seal of Acceptance at the proper pressure.

Grinding and Clenching

The habit: Clenching and grinding your teeth during the day or night can cause chipping of teeth and soreness to the muscle and joints of the jaw.

The solution: Awareness of the problem is the first step. Implementing relaxation strategies or setting a timer on your phone to check in on your clenching state helps the awareness. A nighttime mouthguard can also help in relaxing muscles and protecting teeth from each other.

Chewing Ice Cubes

The habit: When two hard substances like ice and teeth come together violently, one will break, often times it is ice. But sometimes, it is teeth that break first.

The solution: Drink chilled beverages without ice, or use a straw so you're not tempted.

Constant Snacking

The habit: Grazing all day, especially on sugary foods and drinks, puts you at a higher risk for cavities. When you eat, cavity-causing bacteria feast leftover food, producing an acid that attacks the outer shell of your teeth.

The solution: Eat balanced meals to feel fuller, longer. If you need a snack, make sure it's low in fat and sugar. If you indulge in the occasional sugary treat, follow it with a big glass of water to wash away leftover food.

Using Your Teeth As Tools

The habit: Your teeth were made for eating, not to stand in as a pair of scissors or hold things when your hands are full. When you do this, you put yourself at a higher risk of cracking your teeth, injuring your jaw or accidentally swallowing something you shouldn’t.

The solution: Stop and find something or someone to give you a hand. Your mouth will thank you.

http://www.mouthhealthy.org

Contact Drs. Jessica Chen and Emma Etemadi at Duvall Family Dental for your dental check up! We are your dental home in Duvall!

Article From Runner's World: 5 Ways Runners Are Messing Up Their Teeth

May 19th, 2017

5 Ways Runners Are Messing Up Their Teeth

Dentists know that endurance training can cause some problems inside your mouth.

By Cindy Kuzma MONDAY, MAY 15, 2017, 3:34 PM

It might be obvious to your dentist that you’re a runner from the moment you slide into the chair. Those trainers and the Garmin are dead giveaways.

But if it’s not at first glance, the dentist might be able to tell as soon as you open your mouth.

In fact, a small study of triathletes published in The Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports found higher rates of erosion and cavities with heavier endurance training.

Here’s what dentists might be seeing on runners’ teeth—and what those professionals wish runners would do to take care of them.

1. Overdoing it on sugar in the name of fueling.

The gels, chews, and sports drinks that fuel your workout also feed bacteria that occur naturally in your mouth, says Jeremy Hoffman, D.D.S., a dentist and runner who works at two practices in Wisconsin (one in Weston and one, appropriately enough, in Marathon City). As these bugs dine, they produce an acid that eats away at the protective enamel covering your teeth.

To your dentist, this decay looks like white, chalky lines, he says. If you constantly swill sports drinks, it might appear at the base of your teeth where they meet the gums. Or, it might show up where liquid splashes over your front teeth, otherwise an uncommon area for cavities, says Bridget Lyons, D.M.D., an Atlanta-based dentist who competed in the 2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials. Turner had an ultrarunner patient who put energy blocks in her cheek and let them dissolve during training and races; she arrived for her appointment with multiple small cavities between her teeth.

The fix: Regardless of your sugar delivery method, you can protect your teeth by swishing your mouth out with water immediately after you ingest it, says Julia Burchett, D.D.S., a dentist and marathoner in Eldersburg, Maryland. A healthy diet and plenty of non-sugary beverages during the rest of your day can also give your mouth a respite, reducing your cavity risk, Hoffman says.

If you’re cavity-prone, consider using gels with a thinner consistency that don’t stick to your teeth, he says. And seek out flavors without citric or tartaric acid—these compounds, which give sour or tart foods their flavor, can further erode your enamel with frequent or extended use.

2. Forgetting what it means that you’re a mouth breather.

Many runners are mouth-breathers, a habit that can leave you a bit dried out. Less spit means more cavities, Hoffman says, because saliva washes away debris and also neutralizes acids from food and bacteria.

During high-intensity training, the composition and consistency of your saliva changes. “Instead of being more fluid and lubricating for your mouth, it’s more sticky and mucous-like,” Turner says. In this state, it can trap decay-causing sugars and acids instead of rinsing them away.

The fix: Again, drinking water—or just rinsing with it—can rehydrate your whole body and restore your balance. Chewing sugar-free gum sweetened with xylitol, a naturally occurring sugar alcohol, can also help, Turner says. While she chews it on the run, you don’t have to; four to five pieces anytime throughout the day can prevent plaque from building up on your teeth, she says.

3. Breaking the work you’ve already had done.

Sticky chews and dense protein bars can damage crowns and fillings. After all, the cement that holds these structures in place is weaker than your natural tooth and bone, Hoffman says. That means it’s far easier for gooey or hard foods to compromise them.

The fix: If you have had extensive dental work, exercise extra caution when chewing on sticky or crunchy foods, Lyons recommends. Or experiment with real foods to fuel your workouts, such as bananas or peanut butter energy bites.

4. Using your teeth to open up packets.

This one is self-explanatory, and yes, Lyons has seen patients chip their teeth in this way.

The fix: Just don’t tempt fate, regardless of your dental history. You’re asking for trouble.

5. Grinding at night and during workouts.

Type-A runners often clench their jaws or grind their teeth, especially at night or during tough speed sessions. While some companies sell athletic mouth guards, Burchett says she’s never seen anyone wear one to the track.

The fix: “One thing that is helpful is to concentrate on relaxing your face, relaxing your shoulders, relaxing your arms so you’re not so tense,” Lyons says. “If you can get back to that relaxed place in the workout, then I think that helps your teeth and also helps you run faster.”

If you do grind at night—symptoms include pain and stiffness when you wake up and flattened, loose teeth—talk to your dentist. Wearing a night guard can help you sleep better, always an advantage for runners. You’ll wake up refreshed and with less wear and tear on your molars and canines, Turner says.

Contact Drs. Jessica Chen and Emma Etemadi at Duvall Family Dental for your dental check up! We are your dental home in Duvall!

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